Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 82 | Page 53

FEATURE : DISASTER RECOVERY while this applies to how business leaders think about the new challenges emerging , it is also relevant when talking about infrastructure and the way business is done .
According to Bostan , a Disaster Recovery plan must now incorporate all data touchpoints and be able to cope with its decentralisation . “ To this end , a company must understand where its critical data resides and how to manage it tightly while still having the agility to ensure employees can fulfil their job functions regardless of their physical locations ,” he said . “ It must also factor in the risks to its supply chain when delivering products and services to customers . Any disruption can potentially have significant financial and reputational repercussions on the business .”
Bostan said organisations must regard the likes of Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity as key organisational activities and maintain a comprehensive programme to implement and manage its information systems , business premises , employees , and any other workers . “ To this end , the plan must ensure the company can still access key resources to support critical activities while limiting the disruption to business products , services , employees and infrastructure ,” he said . “ Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity , while each having different focus areas , are two sides of the same coin . Executives cannot ignore either and must put tailored plans in place that reflect the business priorities of the organisation .”
Given that the objective of a Disaster Recovery plan is to ensure that you can respond to a disaster quickly and seamlessly while minimising the risk and cost to your information systems and business operations , it is imperative that restoration is as unified without causing any downtime . Khaled said DR is now easier to use and can be rapidly implemented by workload and location . “ By tiering your applications and departments by criticality , you can provide different levels of services based on the organisation ’ s needs .
With CIOs and their IT teams being urged to go about building their Disaster Recovery plans prudently , it is important that all lines of business are considered when hammering out an encompassing DR strategy Khaled said the IT department has long been solely responsible for BCDR and the result has been the development of recovery plans that are indifferent to the needs of the business . “ DR planning isn ’ t just an IT issue . An extended outage can have a devastating effect on a business , so plans must include input from stakeholders in human resources , finance , legal , communications , operations and facilities to be effective ,” he noted . “ Be sure to include team members from all departments , with a variety of job titles and roles for a five-step DR plan that should include : assessing business-critical data , systems and applications , designing a schedule of deliverables , testing the efficacy of your plan , managing and maintaining to stay current and activating when necessary .”
Khaled said not having a Disaster Recovery plan can put an organisation at risk due to data loss . He pointed out that an organisation could experience high financial costs due to downtime , loss of employee productivity , damage to brand reputation and loss of customer or stakeholder trust . “ A DR plan helps mitigate these risks by quickly getting back to normal – activating business operations at the right time and in the right order ,” he said . “ DR isn ’ t just knowing about technology . Members of a DR team also need to be critical and strategic thinkers with skills in project management and communications – all while remaining calm in a crisis .”
Looking ahead Bostan said digital will be the way forward for any organisation , but embracing it throughout the business is challenging especially when it comes to the dearth of cybersecurity and data skills . “ With Disaster Recovery teams now requiring these elements in this connected environment , companies must either reskill or upskill its current employees or work with a credible solutions provider with the required industry experience ,” he said . “ Such a partner is about more than the technology and systems . The ideal service provider is one that also takes the time to understand the human impact of a disaster and how best to take the business forward to overcome the associated challenges .”
That said , Bostan pointed out that IT and digital infrastructure have become the foundation on which business longevity is built , so Disaster Recovery is crucial to ensure that companies can rapidly recover from any potential risk . “ Companies must understand where its critical data resides and how to manage it tightly while still having the agility to ensure employees can fulfil their job functions regardless of their physical locations ,” he said . “ A phased approach becomes critical in structuring the Disaster Recovery plan , providing assurance that critical business processes will continue operating at acceptable levels by focusing on the availability of information and infrastructure .” p
Muhammad Khaled , Senior Solution Engineer , Middle East , Acronis



www . intelligentcio . com INTELLIGENTCIO MIDDLE EAST 53